And another Garth Ennis style Mini-Reviews! coming at ya!
The Punisher MAX: Man of Stone
Collected in the fourth hardcover, this storyline picks up from the Mother Russia arc and the Up Is Down Black Is White arc. Some scary Russian general is after the culprit who killed forty Russian soldiers and Rawlins, that annoying Company guy is helping him track Frank Castle. Added to the mix is O'Brien, now a one-woman revenge squad on the Mujahideen who raped her over and over again. This is a fairly decent arc that is very political. This is another example of Ennis refusing common superheroics in comic books when real world political problems can be examined through the lens of The Punisher. All in all, a damn good arc, with great character moments, too.
The Punisher MAX: The Widowmakers
Here we have an arc, also collected in the fourth hardcover, in which Frank is almost a supporting character. A bunch of Mafioso wifes who have been made widows by Frank have banded together to kill The Punisher. Unfortunately, they have left behind one of their own, a cancer survivor, a rape survivor, and a widow thanks to Frank as well. This woman, Jenny, is after them for throwing her to the wolves, ie her dead, raping, Mafia husband. Frank recuperates from a bullet while Jenny goes off the deep end, and becomes a spiritual twin to Frank's vendetta. This is much more touching arc than I'd expect. We explore what makes Frank different than everybody else. Why is it only Frank can do what he does. Very good arc.
On the flipside, we get Ennis at his more humourous side. This five issue mini-series for Marvel MAX and drawn by frequent collaborator Glenn Fabry, is hilarious. Let me sum this up for you and tell me you don't wanna read this. A bunch of immortal zombie Vikings invade Manhatten and beat the crap out of Thor. so he and Dr Strange go back in time and pick up hardcore badasses to beat the Vikings, including a Nazi fighter pilot. Yeah. It's funny, too. Dr Strange is written as a classic Ennis wiseass while Thor is written as an idiotic superhero - the kind that Ennis loves to make fun of. This is a pretty tightly written mini-series with practically no panels wasted. Just as a lesson on how to write, this might be worth picking up. Very entertaining, very enjoyable.
So that's this Ennis Mini-Reviews! for you. I have more coming....